Stanbridge celebrates its 60th birthday with a trip back to the 50s

December 02 2013

PUPILS went back in time to the 1950s to celebrate their school’s 60th birthday.

stanbridge school stanbridge school stanbridge school stanbridge school library

PUPILS went back in time to the 1950s to celebrate their school’s 60th birthday.

The 403 youngsters at Stanbridge Primary School were transported back to an era when Buddy Holly ruled the airwaves and dirndl skirts, bobby socks and quiff hair styles were all the rage.

The school treated ex-pupils and former members of staff to a special afternoon tea party where they tucked into delicate sandwiches, pretty cupcakes and yummy scones and jam – all served on the best china.

Guests were waited on by members of the school’s PTA who dressed up in 1950s-style clothing with their hair set in retro styles.

Headteacher Faye Bertham welcomed visitors and talked about the school’s history.

She said the school opened its doors on January 5 1953 with 215 pupils on roll.

Miss Bertham also spoke about the school’s many achievements since, including pupils winning the final of a national football tournament at Wembley and governors being awarded a national Outstanding Governance award at the House of Commons.

Speaking of the future, Miss Bertham said pupils were looking forward to new play equipment which is being installed and a new curriculum to build lifelong skills including enterprise, technology and languages.

 “There really is so much to look forward to and the future is very bright for the next 60 years at Stanbridge,” she told guests.

Many visitors reminisced about the good old days including Jane Allinson who was deputy headteacher at Stanbridge from 1992-2002.

Jane, who represents the ward of Oldland Common on South Gloucestershire Council, met her future husband Roger at the school in 1968.

She said: “Stanbridge gave me a love of teaching and a husband!

“I did my teaching practice in Roger’s classroom as he was a teacher at the school.

“He invited me to the Little Theatre in Bristol to watch Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and romance blossomed from there. We kept it quiet until we became engaged in 1971 and we married the following year.”

Year 5 pupils kept guests entertained by jiving to Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog and Summer Time Blues by Eddie Cochran. The day was rounded off in the school’s grounds with pupils watching on as Miss Bertham and caretaker John Williams buried a time capsule to be opened in 2038.

The capsule included the 1953 school register and models made by pupils.

The school also chose its anniversary celebrations to unveil a new jungle-themed school library in the morning.

Special guests included the Gruffalo and local artists Steven West and Nicola Morris who helped design and paint the colourful area.

Miss Bertham said: “This has been an 18-month project involving mural paintings, furniture refurbishment, purchasing of new books and a digital system for cataloguing and borrowing.

“For me this project captured what I feel is at the heart of Stanbridge life – parents, staff, children and members of the community all working together towards a common goal with children at the centre.”